Workaround leads to fatal fall

by on July 21, 2015 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: Workplace Safety Network
scaffolding

A worker made a fatal mistake on a scaffold 100 feet high on a hanging wall scaffold on the side of the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA. He was seeking to lower the scaffold, so he removed wooden planking with a piece of plywood. (Apparently, the planking interfered with lowering the scaffold.) That plywood snapped when he stood on it, and he fell 100 feet to his death. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Clearly, correct operation of the wall-attached scaffold is not to replace planking with plywood, so there was a basic failure to inspect for safe operations, especially raising and lowering. As any experienced safety officer knows, workers may create some strange workarounds, and that can put others in harm’s way.

Bottom line: Review basic scaffolding set-up and remind supervisors to watch how workers raise or lower a scaffold safely.

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